Wooded hills, breathtaking views and closely guarded architectural guidelines make Portola Valley a rural retreat that’s hard to find in the modern day San Francisco Bay Area.
Portola Valley sits opposite Palo Alto off Interstate 280. It shares a border with equally rural Woodside and is within close proximity to many of the big names in Silicon Valley, including Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Facebook. It is conveniently located between two international airports and nearby Sand Hill Road, the center of the venture capital community. A large portion of the town is dedicated to Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, a 1,335-acre preserve named for its breezy, grass covered-hilltop and home to hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
It’s all about the beauty of the land in Portola Valley. Residents voted to incorporate in 1964 and this led to architectural guidelines that emphasize “blending” in. Most lots range from one to two-and-a-half acres or more with houses tucked back on the property, providing privacy and scenic roadways.
Commercial activity is extremely limited and mostly centers around a small cluster of businesses at the intersection of Alpine and Portola Road. These offerings include an independent market, gas station, auto repair shop and hardware store.
Portola Valley Town Center embodies the charm of the area with a historic schoolhouse that hosts town meetings, a county library, community center, recreational play fields and a children’s play area.
Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County. It has a population of 4,611, according to a 2017 U.S. Census estimate. The town is home to a top-ranked public elementary school district with just under 600 TK-8th grade students. The town is divided into six neighborhoods:
- Alpine / Uplands (Los Trancos)
- Portola Valley Ranch
- Brookside / Willowbrook
- Central Portola Valley
- Santa Maria / Russell
Town of Portola Valley